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Curriculum Insights • The purpose and benefits of Emotional Intelligence

Scott Erickson, Head of School

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a pillar of the PBS learning experience. Research demonstrates that EI is an essential foundation for student well-being, academic performance, classroom learning, and ensuring that our graduates thrive in middle school and beyond. We know that many of you carefully consider this program attribute when choosing to join our community.

PBS has many strategies in place to develop each student’s emotional intelligence, yet we cannot achieve success without strong family partnership. With that in mind, we've developed a three-part article series and a parent education session. Our goals are to communicate the purposes of the EI curriculum, current practices, and progress underway. We’re using an FAQ format so you can easily see headlines and review details.

Why is EI taught and practiced at PBS?

  • EI is foundational and essential for all academic learning.
  • Children thrive in school if they learn and practice how to be aware of their emotions and strategies to manage them.
  • EI is at the heart of PBS’s ethos. It is aligned with our mission, and EI facilitates being competent in modeling our core values.

What are the four primary goals of our EI program?

  • Create a safe space and supportive learning environment for all students
  • Prepare children to develop positive self-identity and relationships
  • Educate students on how to recognize and manage emotions
  • Support students in making responsible and caring decisions

What are the benefits of PBS’s EI curriculum?

  • Research shows that EI is essential for mental health, academic success, equity in classrooms, and being good citizens.
  • Practicing EI in children’s formative years allows them to navigate their own emotions as well as those of others.
  • Investing in EI creates a strong foundation for our graduates to manage the challenges of middle school and in their adult life.

What is the difference between Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and EI?

  • SEL is the process by which we acquire EI.
  • EI is a byproduct of SEL.

What research informs the EI program at PBS?

How does EI show up in the classroom?

  • Teachers cultivate a warm and inviting classroom environment.
  • Teachers collaborate with students to develop classroom charters and routines that create peer-to-peer connections.
  • The language we use promotes a positive self-image, invites student reflection, and teaches students to take responsibility for their work.
  • We use pedagogical practices that help individual learners be successful in school, for example: Greeting each student by name as they enter the classroom, holding a morning meeting for students to connect with classmates and hear about the day ahead, and movement breaks to support self-regulation and focus.

How are we partnering with parents?

  • Conferences are an opportunity for families and teachers to discuss areas of EI growth and improvement.
  • Progress Reports offer information on how your child is demonstrating competencies in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and decision-making.
  • Fly Five has School-to-Home resources to help you reinforce classroom concepts at dinner conversations, nighttime reflection, and projects at home.
  • PBS’s Parent Manual includes a Behavior Management Model, which is a guide to address opportunities for skill development and challenges that come up.
  • PBS’s Student Wellness Manager Casey Powell is a resource for teachers, families, and students to support each child’s EI development.


Thank you for supporting our EI program objectives!

Head of School

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • insights


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